Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.
Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone – one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship – tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.
Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.
I listened to the audiobook format of Across the Universe and, as mentioned in my post on the ‘Across the Universe’ Book Trailer post, the best word to describe this book is beautiful. The book cover is beautiful, the writing is beautiful, and even the narration is beautiful. Upon listening to the first two chapters, I was pulled into the story with genuine interest. However, as beautiful as the writing is, I cannot recommend the audiobook and even if I had read the book I’m not sure if my opinions would be any different.
Amy and her parents are cryogenically frozen on a spaceship called Godspeed heading towards a new planet. Or at least Amy was frozen. Her cryo chamber is mysteriously opened 50 years earlier than planned and the ship is no where near there destination. Once woken her long freeze, Amy discovers that she is the only person on the ship from Earth and life is very different from what she’s used to.
On Godspeed, everyone is similar in appearance, brown hair and medium colored skin. There are no cultures, ethnicities or religions. This is all to prevent disputes and keep peace on the ship that is traveling millions of miles across space. That said, I found it very strange that the narrator for Elder, long time ship resident and the ships future leader, had a distinct accent. This is horrible but a little distracting when trying to picture his character without a culture. In addition, I found his narration very grating and I really disliked listening his parts. I did enjoy the narrator for Amy and her parts kept me interested.
As stunning as the writing is, and it really is gorgeous, the story was consistently depressing. The genre is dystopian so things are expected to in a state of disarray. However, as a reader I need a little bit of joy in a story to stay inspired and to keep a sense of hope for the characters. The characters and their situation began to wear on me. I was annoyed by their actions and I can’t say that I liked or related to any of them.
I hate to give Across the Universe a bad review as Revis truly did a good a job but this book was just not for me. I need a story where I can rally behind the characters and root for them and in the end I couldn’t care less about Amy and Elder’s fate. Fans of dystopian novels might really like Across the Universe and I encourage everyone to try it as many readers did thoroughly enjoy the book.
A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2) releases in February 2012 and once again the cover is absolutely beautiful.